Former Brisbane and Penrith coach Anthony Griffin will take over at St George Illawarra next season after more than two years out of the league.
- Anthony Griffin coached the Broncos from 2011-14 and Penrith from 2016-18
- Griffin has a 55 per cent winning record in seven seasons as a head coach
- Paul McGregor stepped down as coach after round 14 this year, with interim coach Dean Young taking over
Griffin last coached in the NRL in 2018, when he was sacked by the Panthers just four weeks out from the finals despite the team sitting in fifth place at the time.
His first head coaching job came in 2011, when he led the Broncos for four seasons until Wayne Bennett returned to Brisbane in 2015.
Dragons chief executive Ryan Webb said the club chose him over current interim coach Dean Young because of Griffin’s “proven track record” in the top job.
“Anthony has missed finals football only once, which speaks to the strong discipline and ability to develop young talent, of which he has exhibited both throughout his career,” he said.
Griffin does have a 55 per cent winning record, but fell out with football boss Phil Gould and, according to recent reports, other members of staff at the Panthers who told the Sydney Morning Herald they were surprised to hear his name was in the conversation at Kogarah.
But Webb said the board was unanimous in appointing Griffin ahead of the other candidates.
“There is no doubt that St George Illawarra is one of the biggest and proudest clubs in the game and I am excited to commence my role as coach later in the year,” Griffin said.
“While results may not have gone in the club’s favour in recent years, I see many a positive in the playing squad and the current crop of juniors currently coming through the ranks.
“My goal is a simple one, to ensure the Dragons are a club that every member, partner and fan can be proud of moving forward.”
The Dragons and coach Paul McGregor parted ways after round 14 this season, with the team 12th on the ladder.
Since then the Dragons beat Brisbane and lost to the Titans and Cowboys.
The team is 11th with three rounds left.